Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Year-round sexual segregation in the Pyrenean chamois, a nearly monomorphic polygynous herbivore

Abstract : Adult females and males live apart outside the mating period in many social vertebrates, but the causes of this phenomenon remain a matter of debate. Current prevailing hypotheses predict no sexual segregation outside the early period of maternal care in nearly monomorphic species such as the Pyrenean chamois (Rupicapra pyrenaica). We examined sexual segregation in a population of the species, using data collected over 143 consecutive months on groups’ location and composition, and extending statistical procedures introduced by Conradt (1998b) and Bonenfant et al. (2007). In addition, we analysed the social interactions recorded between group members. As expected, habitat segregation was low throughout the year, with a maximum during the early lactation period. However, social and spatial segregation was consistently high, contradicting the predictions of the current prevailing hypotheses, while suggesting social causes were predominant. The scarcity of social interactions outside the mating season makes unlikely the hypothesis that males segregate to improve their reproductive success. We rather suspect that higher social affinities within than between the two sexes are at work. However, this hypothesis alone is probably insufficient to account for spatial segregation. Our results should revive the debate regarding the causes of sexual segregation.
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadata
Contributor : Christelle Raynaud <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, February 9, 2021 - 2:22:06 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, May 13, 2021 - 3:45:02 AM




Jean-Paul Crampe, Jean-François Gérard, Michel Goulard, Cyril Milleret, Georges Gonzalez, et al.. Year-round sexual segregation in the Pyrenean chamois, a nearly monomorphic polygynous herbivore. Behavioural Processes, Elsevier, 2021, 184, pp.104300. ⟨10.1016/j.beproc.2020.104300⟩. ⟨hal-03136057⟩



Record views